Montana Shooting Sports Association

2022 Candidate Grades and Endorsements

Please recirculate

(for the General Election, November 1, 2022)

A-F = Letter grade; "?" means no voting record or MSSA Candidate Questionnaire returned.
Bold/E = Endorsed by MSSA

Candidate (Party) - Grade

U.S. House of Representatives

    District #1

Ryan Zinke (R) - B Endorsed
John Lamb (L) - ?
Monica Tranel (D) - ?

    District #2

Matt Rosendale (R) - A+ Endorsed
Gary Buchanan (I) - ?
Sam Rankin (L) - ?
Penny Running (D) - ?

Montana Supreme Court

    Justice #1

Bill Dalton (NP) - ?
Jim Rice (NP) - C

    Justice #2

James Brown (NP) - A+ Endorsed
Ingrid Gustafson (NP) - D

Montana Legislature

Explanation about legislative candidate grades and endorsements (PLEASE READ):  A HUGE amount of information goes into compiling these grades and endorsements.  MSSA tracks legislative votes on gun-related bills before the Legislature.  For example, MSSA tracked nine different votes for 100 members of the House in the 2020 session.  That's 900 pieces of data to track.  So, when an incumbent candidate is graded, know that this is from hard data and historic performance.  Votes cast are highly relevant and dependable as a litmus of a candidate's RKBA performance and attitude.  It also means that the candidate is an incumbent (usual) or has served in the Legislature before, so we have a voting record.  MSSA's 2022 Candidate Questionnaire (CQ) has 17 questions for a candidate to answer with any one of five answers.  That times the 235 candidates just for the House in the General Election is potential 19,975 bits of data to receive, store, and collate.

If a candidate returned MSSA's 2022 Candidate Questionnaire but has not served in the Legislature (if the candidate has a voting record, we consider votes cast to be a more reliable litmus and use that), then the candidate is graded based on that CQ.  Many candidates (especially Democrats) are advised by others to NOT complete or return MSSA's CQ, which is why the reader will see so many candidates with a "?" rather than a grade.  These candidates have no voting record and no CQ on file with MSSA.  It is MSSA's position that these candidates are likely hostile to the RKBA, which is why they declined to return MSSA's CQ.  Rarely, MSSA will grade a candidate with some other basis.  That's because MSSA has some other source if information about the candidate than a voting record or CQ.  For those few candidates who have a "+" after an "A" grade, that is because MSSA reserves the A+ only for legislators who have carried bills for MSSA.  These are especially dedicated and proven supporters of the RKBA.  Endorsed candidates are in Bold.

Note:  MSSA does not endorse candidates who have no challenger and therefore no contest in the General Election.  An endorsement declares that one candidate will better represent gun owners than other candidates in the same race.  If there are no other candidates and no race, no endorsement.

Further note:  Of the 227 candidates seeking the 125 seats up for grabs in the 2022 Legislature, MSSA has endorsed 54 Republicans and no Democrats.  Unfortunately, MSSA could not endorse any Democrats, either because incumbents had poor voting records or because new candidates chose to not return MSSA's Candidate Questionnaire (or, rarely, did return MSSA's CQ but did not score well).  Honestly, MSSA would love to be able to endorse some Democrats.  However, we won't do that gratuitously.  To earn MSSA's endorsement, incumbents must vote for pro-gun bills and new candidates must return a good CQ.

Also:  An "E-V" means endorsed because of a voting record.  An "E-Q" means endorsed because of a candidate questionnaire.

Montana Senate

Montana House of Representatives

Note:  In HD 90 there is a "?" for Green Party candidate Gary Marbut.  As MSSA President Gary cannot grade or endorse himself.